Trenchtown Rock

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This small but tasty serving of the mighty U-Roy's best cuts spans the '70s from the DJ's first chart-topping discs to the more meaty cultural versions he unleashed at the end of the decade. U-Roy recorded an amazing amount of material during this period, notching up numerous hits for a plethora of producers. In the first part of the decade, however, the toaster recorded a slew of singles for Duke Reid, including his second number one, "Rule the Nation"; his third top charter, "Wear You to the Ball" swiftly followed. "The Tide Is High" (which paired the DJ with rocksteady greats the Paragons) and "Words of Wisdom" were also cut during these early years. U-Roy then embarked on whirlwind tours of the Jamaican studios, recording versions for virtually every producer on the island before linking up with Prince Tony Robinson in 1975 and unleashing a quartet of excellent albums on the British Virgin label and its Frontline imprint. The rest of the set is devoted exclusively to U-Roy's work with Robinson, and while some fans may quibble about the selections, the quality of everything the pair recorded was so high that there cannot be any real complaints. Of course, the interim period circa 1972-1975 is totally ignored, and thus it's a somewhat lopsided view of the DJ's output. But as budget comps go, this is as good a place as any for the new fan to dive in.

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